With a deeply personal experience of the power of dreaming, kikki.K founder Kristina Karlsson is now on a mission to encourage others the world over to follow their dreams through her book Your Dream Life Starts Here – by dreaming we can help make the world a better place, starting with us.
Extracted from Your Dream Life Starts Here by kikki.K founder Kristina Karlsson
Kikki.K founder Kristina Karlsson is convinced that a key reason everyone in the world doesn’t practise regular dreaming in a structured way is because they’re unaware of the enormous benefits it will bring their way.
While dreaming is such a big part of her life, she is always surprised by how few people make time to dream regularly. “It’s not something taught in schools – as far as I know – and my experience is that most people don’t teach their children the process either. I wish this were different! What an amazing and positive impact this will have on the world when we all do it,” Karlsson says.
Prior to founding kikki.K Karlsson woke early one morning and wrote a list of dreams. Not long after, she attended a seminar as part of her journey to find ‘my thing’ in life. One of the speakers briefly mentioned the idea of practising dreaming without limitation. “A light bulb went off in my mind. I hadn’t thought of dreaming before as a practice, like meditating or yoga, and I hadn’t contemplated the idea – or experienced the power – of regularly dreaming without limitations,” Karlsson explains. “Soon after, I took time out to reflect on my 3am list and, for the first time in my life, I sat down and took time to practise dreaming completely without limitations. I asked myself: What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? I began to write down a list of everything that bubbled up for me. They were big dreams, far beyond my normal thinking, and it was so exciting to see them take shape on paper – almost as if they had a life of their own.”
Her big dream was opening Swedish design and stationery stores in all her favourite cities around the world. Today kikki.K – her global stationery and design business that combines her childhood nickname Kikki and ‘k’ from her surname – is proof dreams really can come true.
“Dreaming is something I’ve now studied and incorporated into my life on a regular basis – it’s one of the most important things I spend time on – and I want to inspire and empower you to do the same,” she says. “I’m certain that, once you start, it will ignite a spark in you that will fire such a strong sense of possibility and excitement for your future that you’ll never be quite the same. A door will open that you won’t be able to close.”
All too often, the beliefs we have about what is possible have also been limited by our upbringing and the expectations of others around us, explains Karlsson.
“But if I ask you, ‘What would you do if you knew you could not fail? What would you do with your life if you had all the time and money you needed?’ this takes you to another level altogether – giving you permission to cast off the constraints of everyday life and to dream big. To reimagine what is possible for you.
“There is so much freedom and power in taking time to dream like this, and these two questions are where I start every time I dream – which I do regularly, in the same way many people practise a sport, hobby or music. It helps me to forget about barriers and to let go of limitations. It takes me to places and gives me ideas I never would have without this approach. It’s literally life transforming – and it’s so, so simple.”
Karlsson truly believes dreaming is the first step to creating your dream life. “There’s something so special about giving yourself the time and space just to dream – to imagine how your life could be. When dreaming becomes a part of your everyday life, it becomes life changing.”
Once you’ve learned how, this one habit will be something that opens new doors, changes your perspective, brings new opportunities and is, without doubt, the key to you creating your dream life, whatever that means for you now and at different times through the years ahead.
Your dreams can be big or small. They might take years or just days to achieve. It doesn’t matter. It’s all about letting your dreams come to life, and falling in love with the feelings of excitement and possibility they create. Just starting this process will open a door in your mind and you’ll be surprised by how often possibilities and ideas will bubble up, often at unexpected times.
After going through the process of brainstorming and writing down any dreams you can think of on paper, it’s quite amazing how you’ll start to consciously and subconsciously take steps to make them come true. Dreams have such power to pull you forward. It’s even more powerful when you share them with like-minded people, who you’ll find will often help you in big and small ways to achieve those dreams.
- Immerse yourself in your inspiring space where you won’t be interrupted. When you’re ready, close your eyes while you take three slow, deep breaths. This is your time. Open your eyes when you’re done.
- Don’t worry about the doing. Don’t filter what you come up with. Don’t worry about sorting through them. Just connect with your heart, dream big and capture those dreams on paper as quickly, roughly and simply as you like. Think of this as a brainstorming exercise.
- I want you to imagine your life without any limitations. You have all the money you need. Time is no limit. There is no urgency. No musts. No shoulds. And you cannot fail.
- Imagine you can do whatever you want to do and have whatever you want to have. To be whoever you want to be.
- You are not constrained at all by what anyone thinks. You are totally free to just be you.
- The world is so full of possibilities. It all starts with a dream, so this is your turn to cast all doubts and all constraints aside and give yourself the gift of dreaming. Dream away.
Start your own dreams list
Add to it whenever you come up with a new dream.
- Make sure you can give yourself at least 30 minutes – preferably an hour – in a quiet and inspiring place.
- Write down as many dreams as you can in the time you give yourself, and come back and do this powerful exercise as often as you like over the course of your life. I’d suggest doing this every few months, but do it at least annually.
- The idea is to just get as many dreams down on paper as you possibly can. Later when you reflect on them, some will totally inspire you. Some will inspire completely new dreams you hadn’t thought of before. Some you will edit. Some you may later throw away… But somewhere on that list will be some absolute gems that will ignite your soul and inspire you to reimagine your life in ways you wouldn’t have otherwise.
- Be as bold as you like. Be as silly as you like. Be as childish as you like.
Free your mind…
In order to dream big, you have to ask yourself the right questions to help you let go of limitations.
Put pen to paper and use the questions ahead to inspire, prompt and guide you to create your own list of 101 Dreams – or as many as you can. As they surface in your mind, write those dreams onto your 101 Dreams List. You can edit later.
Read each question in the three areas one by one. After reading each question, pause, think about that question, and let it stimulate your imagination. When you’ve written down every dream it inspires, move to the next question, and so on.
When you feel you’re out of ideas, cycle through the three lists of questions again. Do this as many times as you like to inspire as many dreams as you possibly can. Let your imagination run wild. Tap your creativity. And remember, turn off your rational mind. Resist the temptation to limit yourself.
1. Dreaming big
- What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
- What would you do if you had all the money and time you needed?
- What would you do if you had all the skills and knowledge you needed?
- What would you do if you had all the courage you needed, all the self-belief you needed?
- What would you do if you had all the support you needed?
- What dreams do you have already?
- What have you often wished for, but never put in writing?
- What have you dreamed about, but never shared with anyone else?
2. Dreaming deeply
Look deeply into your heart, and consider the following questions too. Think about your dream life and how it would be different to your life today…
- What would you start doing?
- What would you stop doing?
- How would you spend your time?
- What would you do for work?
- What experiences would you have?
- Where would you travel?
- What would you buy?
- What would your purpose be?
- Where would you live?
- What would you surround yourself with?
- How would you feel and act?
3. Sharing the dream
- If your life was filled with all the love and deeply satisfying relationships you could hope for, how would it look?
- Who would be the key people in your Dream Life? Describe your relationships with them in just a few words…
- What dreams do you have to help your loved ones – your family, your friends?
- What do you dream of for your community? For the world?
Extracted from Your Dream Life Starts Here by kikki.K founder Kristina Karlsson.